Giuliani OK With Bin Laden Burial

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Former FDNY Commissioner Thomas Von Essen, who was on duty on 9/11, reacts to the death of Osama bin Laden. (Published Tuesday, May 3, 2011)

    Rudy Giuliani defended the Obama administration Monday night for holding Islamic burial rites for Osama bin Laden and submerging him in a water grave, saying it was important to show the difference between the U.S. military and a terrorist group.

    Giuliani made the comments to Fox News host Sean Hannity, who slammed the White House for allowing a funeral for bin Laden when so many people who lost relatives at the World Trade Center never got remains from the medical examiner's office.

    "There’s a disproportion to it, but after all, this is the U.S. military, it’s not some terrorist group," Giuliani replied. "And you want to show a distinction in how you handle people.

    "I think it was OK," he added. "I might not have made that decision, but I’m okay with that decision being made... [bin Laden] could have all the services he wants, he’s going to hell."

    Bin Laden Dead: Local Pakistanis React

    [NY] Local Pakistani Community Reacts to Word of Bin Laden's Death
    The local Pakistani community reacts to news that U.S. forces have killed terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden. (Published Tuesday, May 3, 2011)

    But Giuliani also urged the White House to release photos of a slain bin Laden to "take out the element of" uncertainty, which will only foster doubt among conspiracy theorists — and already was on Monday.

    "You've got to release the pictures because otherwise these conspiracy theorists will go wild," he said. "Hopefully there’s enough proof.

    "This is a man who deserved to die," Giuliani added. "You really can't say that about too many people."

    In an interview with Piers Morgan on CNN that aired simultaneously, Giuliani was asked whether he would have rather seen bin Laden stand trial and face those whose lives he'd changed forever.

    "No, I think this worked out about as well as it could work out," he said, adding that a bin Laden trial would have potentially dragged on for years and been further fuel for revenge terror attacks.

    He also said now is not the time to pull out of the Middle East, saying, "We shouldn't be leaving Afghanistan because of this, we shouldn't be leaving Iraq. We should be remaining there to get the job done."

    When Hannity suggested Obama had reversed himself from his campaign positions on Middle East engagement, Giuliani noted that he himself was a candidate then and recalled the current president saying he would enter Pakistan if need be.

    "He did carry that out," Giuliani said.

    Giuliani also said the country will be less safe in the short term, in the coming months, and there "may be a reaction" from terror groups, but that in the long term bin Laden's death was the best thing possible.

    "I think he’s gonna be seen as one of the great monsters of history," Giuliani said of bin Laden, comparing him to Adolf Hitler. "The viciousness and the horror of his attacks is just as bad."